Mary Meninga has lived in her Manteca home along West Lathrop Road since 1973.
She recalled the days when the corridor that connects nearby Highway 99 —about one-eighth of a mile from her house — to Interstate 5 in Lathrop at the other end was a rural two-lane road.
Much has changed since those days.
Lathrop Road has seen an upswing in trucks — including trailers longer than 65 feet that are heavily restricted on where they can go due to their length — in recent years although the expanded road is not designated as a Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) route.
Meninga and others voiced their concerns about safety at Thursday's Manteca City-Wide Truck Route Study at the Manteca Transit Center.
This is the second community session on truck traffic — the first one was held in September. The Manteca City Council instructed staff to take some of the findings from these series of workshops to help develop the citywide master plan.
According to Fred Chao of Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultant, Lathrop Road is often busy between 3 to 4 p.m. on weekdays with "1,200 cars or 20 cars per minute," he said.
Of that are 140 trucks, said Chao referring to anonymous cellphone data in collecting those numbers.
He noted that the peak morning hours of cars entering Manteca along Lathrop Road is 8 o'clock. That's 800 cars and 120 trucks going in both directions of Lathrop Road.
"This is one of the busiest streets in the City of Manteca," said Choa, who again spearheaded the workshop.
He also pointed out that 15 percent of the truckers use Lathrop Road to go from I-5 to Highway 99.
"(Lathrop Road) was never intended to be a truck route," said Meninga, who pointed out that the change occurred during the construction of the Highway 120 Bypass.
Traffic woes coupled with foggy conditions can provide hazardous conditions for those living on this busy street.
Adrianna Lopez and Margaret Luevano are longtime residents of the City of Lathrop.
They were among the 35 or so in attendance at the community workshop.
"What happens in Manteca also affects us in Lathrop," said Lopez, who lives on Lathrop Road near Avon Avenue.
Getting in and out of the driveway can be tough for Lopez and her next door neighbor Luevano, in particular, dealing with oncoming traffic.
They're hopeful that the workshop will help provide a solution.
A third workshop is scheduled in January.
Choa said that trucks along Louise Avenue and Yosemite Avenue will be the focus of that session.
Lathrop Road was the focus of this workshop based on the information from the September session.
Parking issues of trucks on residential streets, road shoulders and open lots were also among the concerns of the initial workshop.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.